When Mitch Blaustein walks down the street, drivers honk. A lot.
“People beep at you left and right because everyone knows each other. Half the time, you don’t even know who it is,’’ Blaustein said laughing.
Blaustein’s family moved to Sharon 32 years ago, drawn primarily to the town’s public schools and its large Jewish population. Their house, located on Tamworth Road, backs up to Borderland State Park. That was news to Blaustein: “I didn’t even know about it when I bought the house. It would have been a huge selling point.’’
Seems he hit the ground running. “I’ve been on every town committee possible,’’ Blaustein said. That includes an 18-year stretch on the School Committee that ended in 2012 and 20 years on the Recreation Advisory Committee, on which he still serves.
Sharon has received high praise for its livable neighborhoods, commitment to education, and recreational spaces, among other features, and landed at the top of Money magazine’s “Best Places to Live’’ list in 2013.
The flip side of that, Blaustein said, is the high real estate taxes.
“The town is not afraid to spend money on the school system, which keeps our taxes high,’’ he said. He acknowledges that it is difficult for some residents to meet that tax burden. Home values hold up well because of that investment, he said, so “I’m happy to make that sacrifice here.’’
Blaustein, who retired two years ago from Longview Fibre, a paper bag manufacturer in Waltham, said that among his many pleasures is visiting Lake Massapoag and Memorial Park Beach. “I took advantage of the lake when the kids were small, and now I’m taking advantage of it to see people more my age,’’ said Blaustein, a father and grandfather of two.
For now, he and his wife of 43 years, Hollie, have no plans to leave Sharon. “I wanted a place to settle down, hopefully for the rest of my life, and so far it’s working out.’’
BY THE NUMBERS
The town’s age. To celebrate its anniversary, the town is selling a 160-page book documenting its history and will host a parade on Sunday, Sept. 20.
Town’s spot this year on Money magazine’s “Best Places to Live’’ list. Impressive, although two years ago it nabbed No. 1.
PROS & CONS
Sharon’s public schools are frequently ranked among the best in the state.
Any way you slice it, the homes here are expensive, and the real estate tax rate of $20.30 is high. The median home value in town is $460,000, according to Zillow, a real estate website.
Sharon has a number of synagogues and churches and is home to the Islamic Center of New England.
Rachel Lebeaux can be reached at [email protected].